Homemade Gluten-Free Samoas

Homemade Gluten Free Samoas for the Win!

As you know, I am a sucker for my siblings’ children. I love all my little babies {even the little sprout rapidly growing in my sister’s belly who will be named after ME, by the way–how special is that?!! So what does that have to do with Gluten-Free Vegan Samoa cookies? Well, I will get to that soon but because my little Cambria is selling Girl Scout cookies this year, I want to send her a check for 10 boxes that I cannot even eat. I’m just so proud of my little Girl Scout though, I cannot help it. She’s adorable in green and you just can’t say no to that sweet, innocent face.

Remake your favorite Girl Scout cookies without the guilt, gluten, refined sugar but with all the tastiness!

As I have more time to think about the most wonderful time of the year {Girl Scout season}, I realize that this is my first year I am officially unable to consume Girl Scout cookies. And I miss them, I really do! I miss opening up a box, pulling out a sleeve, and taking a bite out of cookie heaven. But there is no need to wallow in self pity–this is what the kitchen is for. And thank God for creativity in terms of gluten-free vegan baking–all things are possible really because I really miss my Samoas and I needed a way to make gluten-free vegan Samoas stat!

Remake your favorite Girl Scout cookies without the guilt, gluten, refined sugar but with all the tastiness!


When I first started this blog, I created a looooooong list of *all* the things that I wanted to de-glutenize and veganize, which is still growing. You better believe that Girl Scout cookies were top on my list.  I thought it was genius! I would be ruler of the blogging world {a tad bit of an exaggeration here folks}.  Little did I realize, despite what I thought was genius, everyone and their mother had already thought of and done this. Maybe not gluten free AND vegan recipes necessarily but they are still swarming all over the web. Apparently there is no such a thing as an original idea…

So in celebration of all the little ladies in green, I give to you a gluten-free and vegan recipe for the *original* Samoa cookie:

Samoa Cookies

Gluten-Free Vegan Samoas
Prep time
Cook time
Total time
Serves: 2 dozen
For the cookie:
  • ¾ c. Cara's All-Purpose Blend
  • ½ tsp. baking powder
  • ¼ tsp. sea salt
  • 3 Tbsp. coconut oil or shortening (solid)
  • 1 Tbsp. maple syrup
  • 2-4 Tbsp. nondairy milk
For the date caramel:
  • 8 Medjool dates, pits removed and chopped
  • 2 Tbsp. water
  • 1 Tbsp. coconut oil
  • 1 Tbsp. maple syrup
  • pinch sea salt
  • ½ c. shredded coconut, unsweetened
For chocolate coating:
  • 1 c. dark chocolate, melted
  1. Preheat your oven to 325 degrees. Line a baking sheet with parchment paper.
  2. In a medium bowl, whisk together the flour, baking powder, and sea salt. Add the remainder of the ingredients and mix until a nice dough forms. The dough will be scrappy initially but should not be too wet or too dry once combined. Add more flour if too wet; more milk if too dry. You also might knead with your hands. This is a shortbread-like base so it will be stiffer and won't be pliable like a sugar cookie.
  3. Roll between two pieces of parchment paper until about ¼" thick. Cut out circles with a biscuit cutter approximately 1⅞". Using a mini circle cutter, cut out the centers. This is a delicate dough so be gentle and careful.
  4. Transfer to the baking sheet and bake for 10-12 minutes. Allow to fully cool on the baking sheet.
  5. While the cookies are baking, add all of the ingredients for the date caramel into a high-speed blender with an S blade (except for the shredded coconut) and blend until smooth. Add more liquid if the sauce is not blending but be careful for it not getting too runny. Fold in the shredded coconut.
  6. Top the cookies with the coconut caramel. Dip into a shallow bowl full of melted dark chocolate until the bottoms are coated. Set on a piece of wax paper.
  7. Take the remainder melted chocolate and drizzle over the tops of the cookies. Allow to set or chill in the fridge/freezer.


Remake your favorite Girl Scout cookies without the guilt, gluten, refined sugar but with all the tastiness! 

Absolute caramel-coconut-chocolate heaven.

Now I just have to find a box to shove these into and pretend as if my order arrived at my doorstep this morning. Stay tuned for more cookies…




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  1. hi Cara!! How am I just now finding this recipe?? Anyway I was wondering could I just use the gluten free flour blend that I have here at home? It’s Pamela’s… editing a heatwave here in Portland and the last thing I want to do is go outside, haha.

  2. Hi Cara! I just wanted to let you know that I’m featuring this amazing recipe in my post 102 Gluten Free Cookie Recipies. I’m also pinning it to my Gluten Free Cookie Madness Board. :)

    You are more than welcome to share this amazing resource with your readers or link to this post if you’d like! Thanks so much for the inspiration! Here’s the url: 102 Gluten Free Cookie Recipies

  3. do u have to do something special to print out your recipes?m I cannot find a print button?? Luv this recipe and soooo want to try it.

    • Hi Jen, The Samoas are a recipe from a couple years ago and so there is no recipe print out. I just recently switched to doing that so for those that don’t have it, I suggest copy and pasting to a Word document :/

  4. If i want to make them for a party (because i have to show off this recipe) shall i keep them frozen or refrigerated prior to serving them!? Thank you so much by the way for all these AMAZING recipes; you make life as a GF vegan so much easier and tastier

    • Hi Amber :) I would make them the day before and then freeze them. I think that would be okay though I couldn’t get to the second day of having them around in my house, so what do I know 😉

  5. so excited to find your blog, truly inspirational & this recipe looks delicious!!

  6. Ok, this is getting ridiculous, I need to get off your blog now before someone catches me in the act of bloggie food porn. Be back soon to get more kicks….

  7. Cara, you are absolutely adorable. I love that you took a stab at making all these girl scout cookies vegan (your idea looked original to me because I haven’t searched for these recipes). I love Samoa cookies…definitely the favorite. The tagalongs and thin mints look so good too!! I want to try all the recipes…I wish I had more time in the kitchen!

    • I know, I keep saying how there aren’t enough hours in the day anymore! Plus, these dishpan hands suffer their share as well…

  8. Samoas are my favorite girl scout cookie! I haven’t had one in 3 years. Thank you for the recipe – it looks amazing!

  9. Samoas! One of my favorite cookies! I didn’t get a box of those this year. The Girl Scouts were already out when they got to my place. Instead, I got thin mints and the new lemon ones, which are actually very good. They remind me of the Lemon Coolers that were around in the 90s

    • This is the second time I am hearing about these Lemon ones… Are they the ones with the powdered sugar on them or the round ones, coated with a lemon icing on one side? Never had either so now I must live vicariously through you to know what they taste like…

      P.S. Those girls should have owed you big time for being out of Samoas! :)

  10. These are DELICIOUS! I finished making them yesterday. All I can say is thanks for the recipe! 😉

    • Oh hooray! So happy to hear you like them, Kimberly! Were you able to *not* eat all of them? hehe

      • Not without willpower. 😉 I was amazed at how much BETTER they taste than the Girl Scouts. I am new to Fork and Beans and will be trying out more of your recipes!

        • WOW! <–not because I am surprised to hear you didn't eat them all but because you thought they were better than the real thing. Way to puff up this lady {me} up over here :) Sooo happy to hear it!! xo

  11. WHAT THE FUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUU! These are, hands down, my favorite of the Girl Scout cookies – and you’ve recreated a version that I CAN EAT?!?!?!?!?! If I could, I would hug and kiss you right now. A big, wet sloppy kiss. You know, to show my appreciation. Holy. Cow. You’re incredible. DO YOU KNOW THAT?

  12. Yum…I want some in my Tum Tum.

    These look amazing and now I’m craving coconut.

    Can’t wait to get home to try some :)

    • I will have to make you a batch when {if} you get home :) hehe. Maybe I will try to save some Thin Mints for you too, however, I am thinking I will not have anything remotely looking like restraint with those… xo!

  13. Wow. Just wow. Wishing I had the energy to tackle these this weekend…

  14. I’ve had those on my “to make” list ever since I heard of their existence but I’ve never been lucky enough to try one. Now the vanilla sandwich Girl Guide cookies, those I’m familiar with, so yummy! Man I used to love when those little girls came around….well that came out way creepier then I intended…

  15. Oh my gosh, Cara, it’s been so long since I’ve read my favorite blogs that … Girl Scouts are now selling cookies??? hehehe

    Great to be back and you keep setting the bar higher on your blog. I’m still reeling from the effects of moving mine over to wp.org. Whoa!!

  16. Om my god Cara! Just reading through the ingredients and then the method my mouth is watering!
    It will perhaps be of no surprise to you by now that I have never had a girl scout cookies (I don’t ever recall them doing that here) and never heard of these. Hey, but that’s ok because I wouldn’t eat one of the original ones anyway!
    THESE sound awesome! So now MY list of “Cara’s vegan GF goodies to make” just keeps on growing. :)
    Thank you!!!!

    • Okay. This no Girl Scout cookie nonsense must end now. Go! Make these cookies and find yourself in coco-caramel-choco heaven STAT, Nina!!!

  17. Your biggest fan! says:

    I had to do a little research. Lemonades came out in 2006. They’re a shortbread with a lemon-flavored icing, stamped with a sliced lemon shape. They’re pretty good.
    I honestly don’t know why you and Sherry didn’t do GS unless it interfered with softball or something else you were more interested in. Were any of your friends in GS?
    Was Pioneer Girls at the church on the corner?

    • No, Pioneer Girls was waaaaaay back when we were living in Anaheim, I thought. I doubt it lasted long. Maybe we went 1 time through an invite and somewhere in my mind I thought that meant I was forever a Pioneer Girl? Come to think of it, I really only have 1 memory of it and I just remember singing “Silver and Gold” and seeing a big ol’ picture of white Jesus, holding a sheep. haha

      • Yes! It was at the church on the corner. By the Notariani family’s house. Was that their name? But Pioneer Girls. Come on. That’s where we learned all the classics….Kumbayah, My Lord and Silver and Gold. We didn’t need no stinkin’ Girl Scout cookies!!!! Of course now that Cambria is a Daisy (she is pretty adorable in that blue smock), I am getting to be a Girl Scout…seriously, the girls don’t sell the cookies! Their moms do!!! Which meant, for me, over $100 spent on cookies that were way too accessible to eat…especially after we found out that Thin Mints were Cami-safe! (It’s also why we snookered Auntie Kookie into sending a $35 check for cookies she can’t even eat…we LOVE you, Auntie Kookie!) Coconut is gross so I’ll trust you and all your bloggers that it tastes delish!!!! Maybe baby Caralie will share your affinity for coconut. 😉

        • That kid is going to come out singing, hip-hop dancing, and requesting coconut cookies–I just know it :) ha!
          And Thin Mints are Cami-safe? WHAT???!!! This is getting ridiculous {er, I mean that is awesome really that she can eat them!} You tell that little baby o’ mine that even Kookie can’t eat Thin Mints so eat 12 for me :)
          I thought mom meant Grace church (booooooooo!) Yeah, like I said, all I remember is Jesus holding a sheep. Kinda creeped me out, actually…

  18. how sweet that the baby will be named after you!:) a little bean:))
    u know by now that we did not eat no cookie really apart from some crisp low sugar wafer kind things.. most of the snacks were deep fried savory stuff. And then i was in a small college town here and then directly in downtown chicago.. no one selling girl scout cookies out there in those tall buildings.. i finally got my hands on some only in seattle!. yes yes.. such a depressing childhood.. with no cookies :)
    and look who is using the date caramel! i love these coooookkkiiess. i cant wait to whip some up and feel all those layers of goodness. dates added to grocery list!

    • I bought a HUGE bag of dates last weekend at the farmers market so I am going to be making whatever I can think of with caramel in it :)
      A childhood without cookies? *gasp* At least you made up for it with the fried savory foods…Phew, that was a close call! ha. What did you think when you finally ate some GS cookies???

  19. Your biggest fan! says:

    As I sit here writing, I’m polishing off my last 3 Lemonades! Haven’t had the mad rush of cookie sellers this year as in previous years and I can’t pass them any easier than a SA bell ringer! I also love Samoas but yours look like they would put those GS Samoas to shame!
    Sadly, I was a Brownie for a very short time and never made it to Campfire Girls :-(

    • How come Sher and I did Pioneer Girls, mom, and not GS? Just curious…
      I never heard of Lemonades–these new cookies go over my head. I like sticking to the original gangster flavors :)

  20. coldandsleepy says:

    A girl scout came to sell cookies to us when Wren was like 3 and I were the only people home with no cash of course. I felt so sad sending her away empty handed!

    Also, new baby? Named after you?! Congrats to you and your sister too!

    • There is nothing more sad than an empty-handed Girl Scout… ha {yet, I’m still laughing} :)

      Thank you for the congrats! I get to meet my junior next month and I cannot wait! xo

  21. Will the baby to come be called fork or spoon? :D. I had no idea what a samoa was…. but they look yummy! Yet another brilliant post, FORK.

  22. I have to admit, I didn’t even know what samoas were until I started seeing them on food blogs…I guess Girl Scout cookies just weren’t as popular where I’m from! I love how these are completely covered in coconut…I looove toasted coconut!

  23. I am never reading your blog again. I had to get out of my sweatpants yesterday to go to the doctor and my tummy was two or three times too big to get into them. You are a very bad influence. I am cutting you from my life – until tomorrow – because not only being a glutton, I am a glutton for punishment and I love your blog. Plus, I figure you only torture the ones you love. Right? Right?

    • HA!!! I am paying for my potato chip extravaganza that I partook in, thinking it would be okay. Now my belly is super bloated and flipping me off, the same way yours is doing to me :) I am a bad influence…and that is why you love me! xo Hope you are feeling better. hehe

  24. Wow! These look fabulous and sound totally delicious!

  25. Holy freakin’ genius. <3 YUM DIGGITY!

  26. These look absolutely amazing!

  27. Samoa’s are my all time favorite Girl Scout cookie!

    ..I did the same thing, ordered 3 boxes from our cutest little neighbor Natalie, I just couldn’t say no!

    Aren’t we all naming our first borns after you :)

    • Oh goodness, I hope not. ha! I would be too afraid that the poor little babies would inherit my bad genes through name osmosis. But I *am* excited to hold little baby Caralie in my arms and give her Samoa kisses :)

  28. You know, I don’t think I’ve ever had a Girl Scout cookie. People make such a big deal about them this time of year. It’s all over my Facebook feed that people are eating them by the fistfuls. I was a Campfire Girl growing up, and we sold chocolates. Your Samoas look just beautiful! I’ll take a homemade cookie over a boxed one any day!

    • A Campfire Girl? Not sure if I ever heard of that. Then again, I was Pioneer Girl {anyone?} and all we did was sing the song “Silver and Gold”…that’s about it. And you never were tempted to eat a GS cookie, really??? Wow, I am impressed! They were are worthy of eating my the fistfuls, to be honest. But now at least you can eat homemade ones by the plateful :)

      • A Pioneer Girl, huh? That’s totally new to me! Campfire is similar to Girl Scouts. We made crafts and sang songs, and in the summer I’d go to their camp. (Sadly, we passed over the classic Silver and Gold.) I don’t know how I missed the whole Girl Scout cookie thing since I wasn’t vegan then, and I had plenty of friends who were Girl Scouts. Maybe since my mom had been a Campfire Girl too she just wasn’t in the habit of buying them? I really don’t know.

        • Pioneer Girls were the “Christian” version of Girl Scouts–ha! Though we didn’t go to church, not really sure why I went there and not the Girl Scouts…or Campfire Girls, for that matter :)

  29. Yuuuummmm! But really? You only take a bite of cookie heaven? I usually eat those things by the sleeve!

    • Well, I didn’t want to let everyone know how ravenous I get around GS cookies. So I lied and painted a picture of me delicately eating them, bite for bite. The real story is that I would shove as many into my mouth to see how many it takes until I couldn’t breathe. There! You happy now? :)

  30. Lucky Cambria and future Cara to have such a wonderful Auntie:) These look so chewy and yummy.. we didn’t get Samoas here (I don’t think) but the chocolate and vanilla and mint cookies were the best, so I can imagine this is amazing!

  31. Wow! These look great! I don’t’ think I have eaten a Samoa…Canadian girl scouts don’t have the same variety…or at least as far as I know. Don’t they just sell the white or chocolate sandwich cookies? I totally missed out on these, back when I could or thought I could eat it…

    • Haha. Jess @ Cupcakes and Kale was just saying the same thing too–it must be a Canadian thing because I don’t remember those {and I know my GS cookies very well! hehe} But if you have never tried these, you must! They are decadent and delicious. Perfect to crumble and eat on top of ice cream :)

      • haha, i think i am in love with that thread above about my age!! {although the reply button for it was being glitchy hence my response here!} for the record i was NOT born in 1947, but a lady never tells her age… accept that i’m not really a lady. and i’m 30. hah!

        so the verdict is that yes, these samoas must be an american thing. can’t wait to make them and crumble onto banana soft serve!


        • Favorite line: “…except I’m not a lady” hahaha!! You are right, you are not a lady, you are an old fart, miss 30 year old. Wait a minute, that would make me a corpse or something…

  32. Hooooly crap. You could always just bake some of those and mail them to me, right? RIGHT?

  33. do you know that i’ve never even *had* a samoa cookie? the only girlguide cookies i remember from my days are those chocolate & vanilla sandwich cookies…. ahem, i think i’m showing my age!

    • No Samoas? No Thin Mints? No Tagalongs? {I just gave away my upcoming cookies, by the way–ha!} Really? I don’t even remember the sandwich cookies, probably because my face was buried in a box of Thin Mints, or were you born in 1947?? hehe :)

      • yeah, i was wondering the same thing! how old could you possibly be, jess?? from the few pics you’ve posted, i would have pegged you as late 20’s-early 30’s!

        • Maybe because she is Canadian, they count age differently or something :) hehehe

          • Actually, I was wondering if Samoas were an American thing. When I was in the Girl Guides here, we had only the sandwich cookies to sell (chocolate and vanilla mixed box). More recently I’ve noticed that the Thin Mints are available, but nothing like the variety I hear you have down there, or as fancy (if they look anything like your pictures).

          • This is an outrage that must be stopped!!! Only one cookie type to sell? An atrocity, I tell you. But at least you can get your hands on some Thin Mints (those are my favorite) mmmm….

          • That’s it I’m moving to Canada.

          • HAHA!! Canada–the land of youth :)

  34. These look amazing, you little food artist, you.

  35. sheesh… good thing my samoas are buried in the drafts folder for a while. yours look better than mine anyway 😉

    I do this too – buy boxes of cookies from the cute little brownies at the grocery door… then I take them to work for everyone else! :) win win.

  36. samoas were always my favorite girl scout cookie when i was a wee girl scout. i always felt like a freak because everyone else’s favorite was the thin mint..and i didn’t like those at all. what can i say, caramel, coconut, and chocolate are just amazing…and i had to eat a whole box in like..one sitting.

    these cookies look just as good, if not better. i love all that toasted coconut..omigosh, so amazing.

    • I realized that I didn’t have toasted coconut, just regular so I had to bake mine in order to get that authentic Samoa color. Tricks of the trade :)
      I think I appreciated my Samoa love as I got older because I was too busy eating Thin Mints. They really are amazing and I cannot believe you didn’t like them. Really??! Was that just to go against the grain? :) <–my brain cannot fathom anyone not liking them, so I have to create an excuse why…

      • mint flavor in baked goods just never did it for me. i want chocolate that tastes like chocolate..and rich and chewy caramel and warm, toasted coconut..and that’s just the way i am 😉

        • Okay, okay, I guess I will have to get used to the idea of someone just not being a fan of Thin Mints. Ack–that is so hard to imagine though. ha!

      • I, too, was too busy eating Thin Mints to enjoy Samoas when I was a girl scout. I was also not a fan of coconut as a child, that came about in my late teenage years. Now, though, I can’t even stand the smell of Thin Mints because I ate myself so sick of them as a kid. I’ve even tried in recent years and I still can’t stomach them.

        I tried another recipe for Samoas a year or so ago and they came out just AWFUL (and I made the biggest mess EVER melting the caramel LMAO), I’m gonna give yours a shot!

        • This made me smile. I have a long list of foods that I have od’ed on so I completely understand your dislike for Thin Mints now :) And yes, the caramel recipe is just too easy not to do! No burning or worrying about it turning into toffee either. Tell me how they turn out! xo


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